How to Avoid Thermal Tracking in You Home


Many of us have heard the term “ghosting” and how our HVAC systems are responsible for it. Ghosting, which is also known as thermal tracking, is a phenomenon in which dark stains appear on the walls, outlining the wall and ceiling framings.

In this guide, we will explain what causes thermal staining and how repairing an air conditioner in Calgary can help solve it.

What Is Thermal Tracking?

Thermal tracking, also known as thermal bridging, appears as dark lines on the framing of the walls and ceilings. These stains often look like mold spots but are usually soot or dust deposits. Although the main causes of thermal tracking vary, they usually occur in an environment where there is insufficient wall insulation and a high concentration of soot and other particles, such as homes which have wood-burning stoves or fireplaces.

Thermal tracking occurs when the wall studs are cooler than the rest of the wall, leading to condensation forming on the cooler area. These wet patches attract tiny dust and soot particles in your home, where they remain stuck to your ceiling and wall surfaces. These stains build up over time, and by the time they are visible, they become quite difficult to remove.

How to Prevent Ghosting

Although you can always repaint your wall, if the issue is not resolved, the surfaces will darken again. One of the major reasons for thermal tracking is due to issue with the AC.

If you own an air conditioner in Calgary and notice thermal tracking, this can mean that your AC is producing too many particles in the air. Here’s what you can do:

  • Clean your window or wall-mounted AC’s air filters and registers regularly, preferably after one month. Also, have all your air ducts cleaned. If you see signs of molds inside the air paths of these units, they cannot be cleaned easily, and you will need to buy new ones.
  • Once your air filters are changed, make it a point to check your air handler monthly to assure that the condensate handling system is not cracked, allowing condensate to leak into the building. If an AC in your attic does not have a condensate overflow tray or a backup drain, there is a risk of leaks into the ceiling.
  • Lastly, make sure you address your home’s insulation, as ghosting is a clear sign of insulation defects.


If your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the summer, you will be left high and dry in the sweltering hot conditions. It is important that you always keep your AC and other related components in optimum working order.

You should repair your old AC or buy a new AC in Calgary before the summer season starts. To get a cooling system, call Air Conditioner Calgary at 587-437-3308.